Johnny Manziel: Collin Klein Mishap Makes Texas A&M QB Heisman Front-Runner

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVNovember 18, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 17:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies warms up before playing the Sam Houston State Bearkats at Kyle Field on November 17, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

After a disappointing performance from Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein in Saturday's loss to Baylor, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel should be viewed as the Heisman Trophy favorite with just a couple of games remaining.

Klein and the Wildcats were expected to cruise into the 2013 BCS National Championship Game after a scintillating start to the season, but they were swept away by the Baylor Bears in a 52-24 drubbing on Saturday.

Baylor doesn't exactly have one of the nation's elite defenses, and it has been gashed many times this season. But Klein still struggled mightily in the contest, throwing three interceptions and rushing for a season-low 39 yards. 

Simply put, K-State couldn't afford to have its best player come up short in a game like this. But that's exactly what the Wildcats got from Klein. It wasn't the type of performance you want to see from a Heisman Trophy favorite who is leading an undefeated team through the last half of November.

As Klein has receded in November, another quarterback has assumed responsibility of the Heisman race and is taking control of it. 

Despite being just a redshirt freshman, Johnny Football has dazzled throughout the season and has only gotten better. 

His stats are insane. Manziel has notched nearly 40 total touchdowns in just 11 football games this season, racking up 3,047 passing yards to go along with 1,114 rushing yards in the process. 

Statistics carry a lot of weight in the Heisman Trophy race, and so does a team's competence in the national championship race. But perhaps the most important asset is the "signature moment."

Johnny Football undoubtedly has that moment.

On the road against top-ranked Alabama, in a game in which the Crimson Tide were heavily favored, not many expected Johnny Football to work his usual magic. But he dazzled us yet again, going up 20-0 on the nation's scariest defense. 

The Aggies ended up shocking the world by defeating the Crimson Tide, giving Manziel the perfect signature moment to add to his Heisman campaign. 

Manziel has thrown three picks in a game just like Klein, but it came against LSU. There's a major difference there, to say the least. 

His race for the award may have gained steam late in the running, but a spectacular season, paired with a November mishap by Klein, makes Johnny Football the Heisman favorite down the stretch.